Social Business Platforms breakfast briefing

A good looking breakfast :-(
Earlier this week I attended a breakfast briefing organised by Headshift and hosted by Arrow ECS in their offices at the Royal Exchange. The briefing was aimed at law firms and was a chance to look at the opportunities provided by SharePoint 2010 when combined with IBM Social connections.

First to speak was Lee Bryant from Headshift who talked in some detail about the journeys Intranets have taken and how some Intranets had become obsolete. One of Lee's first slides outlined what had happened to Intranets and demonstrated some of the problems with Intranets, which include;
  • Only one-way communication
  • A central administration team
  • No ownership
  • Complex, slow and tedious interfaces
  • Difficult navigation
  • Outdated information
  • Content dead-zones
Now shortly after showing attendees this slide Lee seemed to say that traditional Intranets we're dead. Dead is quite a strong word. I think most people especially Intranet managers would prefer the term "evolving" to describe what is currently happening to Intranets rather then dying. Lee went on to describe the role that SharePoint 2010 is playing in many law firms, I think most people would agree that SharePoint appears to become ubiquitous in law firms.

However SharePoint isn't a silver bullet and Lee described some of the issues with using SharePoint, specifically that:
  • SharePoint is very document centric
  • Surfacing content and surfacing behaviour is difficutl
  • The collaboration features are hard to use
  • There is no concept of flow within SharePoint
So the question then is, how do you work around these issues? This is where IBM Social Connections comes in. IBM Social Connections. IBM Social Connections is a social software application that enables users to blog, create wikis, follow other users, create networks and view activity streams. It does look quite good, although very similar to some other products. Sadly although we had a demonstration of IBM Social Connections and the potential of it, we didn't get to see IBM Social Connections used within SharePoint, that would have been interesting to see.

Overall a really interesting session and useful to see hear what other Law Firms think about SharePoint 2010 and its potential. I was also disappointed with the breakfast. I always go in expecting bacon butties and end up with a Pain Au Chocolat...oh well!